Friday, November 10, 2006


We were to present ourselves at the hat –shop sometime in the morning and as we walked up the main street from the station I thought what a pleasant town Altrincham was and how convenient it would be to live there with its shops, transport, and easy access to countryside. I was told it had a splendid market which would delight Mum and Gran. We found the shop near a convergence of roads; next door was a delicatessen called Willey’s – very handy for a quick snack, if a bit expensive. There were trees in sight which softened the landscape. I gave William a quick ‘fingers crossed’ before we entered the shop.

A neat looking lady with pearl ear-rings introduced herself as Clarice the assistant and took us through to a small back room with a blazing fire. There were three women; Mrs Barber, the grandmother – a tiny lady with tight white curls, Mrs Cooper the mother – Mr Cooper’s wife – about 60, short, plump and what I call ‘posh Cheshire’ and married daughter Elaine who was vacating the flat. I felt an instant connection with the grand-mother whose gimlet eyes looked right through you. In spite of her age you knew that she was the boss and I longed for her approval. The other two I was not so sure of.

William started to introduce us both and started stammering which seemed to embarrass the two younger women so I said that this was William, my husband, and I was Pat and we were very grateful to have this opportunity to look over the flat. Mrs Cooper said of course they had to give it some thought with the access being through the shop so they couldn’t promise anything whereupon the Grandma told her grand-daughter Elaine to take us up and show us the flat as we may not like it anyway.

We followed Elaine up the stairs and turned left down a passage into a large living room. There was a fireplace, a tall window which looked out behind the shop, and an alcove with shelves – just crying out for ornaments, and art deco wall lights. Through a door a couple of steps took you down into a medium sized kitchen with another long window, then through a door into a super bathroom. The couple had had it done when they first got married and Elaine was obviously reluctant to leave it behind. The room was large and the suite was a pretty green. Coloured suites were a great luxury – this was before the days of the dreaded avocado and I was charmed.

Back to the top of the stairs a door ahead led us into a double sized bed-room and then into an even larger sized bed- room. Both the bedroom windows looked out onto the main street. You could see where their furniture had been so it was a bit shabby; there were acres of bare floor and it was going to need yards and yards of curtaining but already I pictured a blazing fire – our Welsh dresser and furniture and lots of space to have the family and parties.

‘Have you seen enough?’ Elaine asked.
‘Could I just quickly go round again please?’ She nodded and I raced round trying to absorb every detail whilst William asked her about transport to Trafford Park.
Downstairs we thanked them for letting us see the flat and I said I thought it was lovely and we would love to rent it if they thought we would be suitable. The mother said they would have to give it some thought but old Mrs Barber said her son in law would be in touch the next week.

We went to have a coffee and a chat.
‘Oh William it would be so marvellous living there. Everything is perfect. Do you think they’ll let us have it? The mother and daughter didn’t seem mad keen.’
‘We just have to be patient. There’ll be other places I’m sure.’
‘But we’ll never find anywhere as good as that and we’ve had enough of living in one room and our furniture will look so good and I know just …’
‘We haven’t got any furniture.’
‘Oh William sometimes you’re such a wet blanket!’
But he was right of course – we’d just have to wait and see!


Sim said...

Ooooh - a new abode and a place all to your own! Very exciting, plus you then think about how you can make your own distinctive mark on the new home. You must have been all excited - I would of!

Polly said...

I bet you had already positioned non existant furniture and had the perfect place for the Welsh dresser.
No vision men !

PI said...

sim: don't get too excited; we don't know if we've got it yet but I'm already looking at curtain material!

PI said...

Polly: I always like to think of something nice before I go to sleep and at this time I was furnishing the flat in my mind - much easier than actually doing it!

Sablonneuse said...

We both seem to lurk on Jonnyb's blog so I came to visit yours. I'll be back!

PI said...

Hi sablonneuse and welcome! Great minds think alike and I nipped over to yours just before supper. I've book marked you for later!

kenju said...

By jove, I think she's got it!!

PI said...

Judy: I couldn't possibly comment:)

Granny said...

I hope it all works out. Are you still waiting?

PI said...

granny: in the story I am still waiting but it is back in time: 1952.

PI said...

Sablonneuse: tried to leave a comment but the comment box won't accept mu user name.